In 2007, as she was working on her field, in Southern-west Ghana, Joanna was arrested by the nearby mine security, claiming she was “encroaching on their land.”
The 43 year old single mother of 3 is now an elected official for her district, fighting for local communities’ rights.
At the time of her arrest, Joanna had just completed a training session with Wacam, an Oxfam partner. She knew that farmers can only be removed from their land if they have been compensated for it. “I told the court that I was there before the company came and that it had not compensated me. So the company had no right to push me off this land.”
“After this training, I can see how important education is, so I am enrolled in school. I want to be a political leader, maybe a member of parliament.” Joanna said at the time.
In 2010, she became the first woman elected in her District Assembly.
“ The training and monitoring Oxfam continues to offer me has increased my knowledge and built my confidence to quote the mining act and all related legislation to challenge mining companies to ensure that my people are not taken for granted. The companies were doing their own thing without any consultation with the community members in the past, but the story is different now.”
Photo: Jane Hahn/Oxfam America
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